Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD - French Pear Tart - Yes!

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, 
to mind your own business 
and to work with your hands, 
just as we told you, 
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders 
and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Well now I'm trying to get life back to normal, and that includes Tuesday with Dorie. Now that doesn't mean that it won't sometimes mean Thursday with Dorie, but that's normal, isn't it.

Today it's Pear Tart. I love pear tarts, and this one looks absolutely terrific. I'm also looking to make a Russian roast chicken, stuffed with a dressing of bread crumbs and raisins. But of coarse everything is on the slate, but not done yet.

I'll be back.

Well after Heidi picked up Emily and Christian, I sat about just a bit. But by six I was in the kitchen getting the dressing made for the roasted chicken. By six thirty I had the bird in the oven. The recipe for the chicken was Russian, so I decided to make a Russian peas and carrot dish. I didn't follow the complicated recipe, and I left out the chives, ham, and dill, but it tasted really good. The recipe called for julienning the carrots and then cooking them for 40 minutes. No way. You'd just get horrid mushy carrots. So here's how I did it.

Russian Peas and Carrots

8 oz carrots, in 2 inch long julienned strips
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons sugar
water to barely cover the carrots
a pinch of salt

6 oz frozen peas in a microwavable dish
some water in the dish, not to cover

1 tbl flour
salt and pepper to taste

Put the carrots into a frying pan with a lid.
Add the next 4 ingredients and cover and cook on medium heat until the carrots are just au dent.
Meanwhile, put the peas in the microwave and heat about 2 minutes.
Strain the liquid off the carrots into a small saucepan.
Strain the liquid from the peas into a small dish to reserve and put the peas in with the carrots.
Heat the carrot liquid and stir in the flour, adding enough of the peas liquid to make a nice sauce.
Pour the sauce over the vegies, and keep warm until time to serve. Covering the pan will probably suffice.

Russian Roast Chicken Dressing

2 cups bread crumbs
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbls butter, melted
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
salt to taste

Mix the crumbs and the half and half and let sit about 10 minutes.
Stir in everything else, and stuff into the bird without smashing the dressing.
When the bird is done, remove the dressing to a serving dish.

So once dinner was under control, I made the pear tart.  When I opened up my can of pear halves, I found out the the company was quite loose in their definition of "halves".  They looked more like quarters.  Upon further inspection I saw that they called them "pear slices".  So with that being my pears, I decided to apply the pears to the tart in thin slices, which is how I do it with my pear tart recipe.

I made Dorie's sweet pie dough recipe, but I divided it in half, and used a half for the tart, as I'm partial to a thin crust.  To make the dough I put the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor and gave it a whirl. Then I cut up the butter and add it and whirled it until it looked like cornmeal. Then I added the egg yolk and mixed it until well mixed in, but all was still powdery looking. Then I dump it all out into a large bowl, and using my hand I smushed it until it all came together. I then weighed the dough, divided it into two parts, and wrapped each part into plastic wrap, forming tidy discs. These were placed in the refrigerator while I made the almond cream.

And to make the cream I put the nuts, flour and cornflour into the food processor and ground up the nuts.  Then in a mixing bowl (the one I used for the dough) I put the butter and sugar and mixed until it started to look a bit fluffy.  Then I added the egg and brandy (instead of rum), and mixed well.  Then I stirred in the nut mixture.  It was all nice and smooth.  Then I dredged a disc of dough in flour rolled out the crust and put it into a tart dish, smoothed on the almond cream, and then cut and placed the pears on top.  I then baked it for about 45 minutes (I think).  I thought it turned out great, but now I'm going to go and have a piece of it to see if it really did turn out all right.

Well everyone thought that this was a terrific pear tart. I believe "Wow!" was the most common expression used. My husband had two pieces. Oh, and I forgot to mention - this weeks recipe was chosen by none other than Dorie Greenspan herself. In looking at the pictures of the TWDers pear tarts I find that the all look fabulous and they are all really pleased with this recipe. It always amazes me how one recipe can turn out looking so many different ways.

"I never said most of the things I said."    Yogi Berra


Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

Thanks for the additional recipes!

I think everyone collectively LOVES this tart...it's a keeper! Great job!

Jennifer said...

Your tart looks lovely! I agree with you, about the thinner crust. I divided my dough into five 4" tart pans, next time I'll weigh the dough and divide it even into six pans.
Now I want to run home and make a batch of that almond cream just to eat! It was so good.

PheMom said...

Your tart does look lovely. I'm glad everyone liked it. It really is a knock-out recipe!

Madam Chow said...

The tart is lovely, and your dish reminds me a lot of one my mom used to make quiche. I have it around somewhere, and now you've inspired me to dig it out!

Piggy said...

I like how you arrange the pear slices, very neat and pretty!

Anonymous said...

Miss your posts. Hope all is well.

Cécile said...

That tart looks scrumptious! I too love Paris. Thanks for leaving a note on my web site.

And I just found out this fall that I also love Portland. I visited Portland for the first time in November and had a wonderful time walking around. We stayed down town and I did a lot of walking. I loved Powells too, as does everyone who gets to stop in. Lucky you to live in such a wonderful city.